My Gramma Johnson always talked about Pearl Harbor and the devastation of the Japanese Attack that day. She talked about hearing the news on the radio and wondering if it was the end of the world. Fifteen years ago the World Trade Center attacks occurred and I can understand how my Gramma Johnson felt that day.
I was working on an auction that September 11th morning when there was a knock at the door. It was the Schwans’ Man. Now the Schwans’ man, in SW Minnesota, is a guy that comes around in a truck and sells my husband’s food staple when I’m gone, pizza and other frozen foods. He came in and he asked me if I had the TV on. I thought that was weird, and I turned on “Good Morning America.” The Schwan’s man told me that a plane had hit the World Trade center in New York and they didn’t know if it was an act of terrorism. We talked and sat in my living room and we watched together the 2nd plane hit the other tower. With horror, we watched the world stop, in front of us, on TV. Then they talked about other planes that may be hijacked and the nation was on alert. We looked at each other and didn’t know what to think, what was going on. He then said, I’m going to go home. I called my husband and told him what was going on. I then called the school and asked them what they were going to do. I had my little Emily in School. I went and got her. I called my Mom and asked her what was going on and she was praying. We have a huge satellite center for the government just a few miles North of where I grew up and all I could think of that this would be a location that they would bomb. That whole day was unreal. We were all glued to the TV and radio and wondering what was going to happen. Who was this? Why? It seemed that you paid more attention to your family and friends; that was all that was important. You watched in horror thinking of all those innocent people that were just going to work that day. They never thought it would be their last day. That day changed a lot of things. People wouldn’t fly, they stayed home in fear of what was to come in the following days.
For many of us, the world had to go on seeing there were sellers in need of auctions. I had a sale in Tyndal, S.D. the following Saturday. Many of us auctioneers didn’t know what to do. I was selling a big collection of antique cars and tractors and this was one of my first big sales. We talked with the seller and we decided not to be held down. The advertising was done, and we moved forward. We had a good crowd and decent prices, but you could tell that people were apprehensive. I had people call and say they wouldn’t fly, but would drive. Others had to weigh their decision on what was important and what they wanted to. Some people just decided to not come.
That day changed our lives. But we kept doing sales and moved forward and didn’t let them win.
The days went by and the TV coverage of the attack tapered off. The attack site was cleaned up and a brand new building, the Freedom Tower, was built to show America’s undefeated spirit. For people in business, new laws were made in regards to credit cards, commerce, and banking in hopes of helping the government track money to hinder other terrorists attempting a future attack. The government thought it might be helpful in their efforts. What it did was made it harder for us to do normal business. Forms, tracking cash, 1099K, added clauses in my business insurance for terrorism, and more were all affected after the attacks. It infiltrated into our daily lives and seemed to affect all of us.
Now 15 years later we still go about our own business; I hope that people don’t forget that day in September. It wasn’t just another day, but a day that time stood still in America and the world. We should support and stand for America, our freedoms, the flag, our National Anthem and the liberties that we are allowed and given. The memory of the veterans that fought and died for us to live in this great country is what it is all about. Stand and support our country.
I do understand now how my Gramma Johnson felt and also how proud she was as she did her part by supporting this great country.
The Salvage Princess- The Lil’ Nordstrom’s Gal